SP to contest poll in MP, Rajasthan

With its supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav making clear his prime ministerial ambitions, the Samajwadi Party (SP) is looking to expand its support base beyond Uttar Pradesh.

The SP has decided to field its nominees in the forthcoming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in an apparent bid to make an assessment of its strength so that it could then decide about fielding its candidates in these states in the next Lok Sabha polls and add to its tally of seats.

“The party has taken a decision to contest the assembly polls in MP and Rajasthan. The nominees will be selected by the party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav,” SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said on Saturday.

He said that the SP would put up its nominees at the seats where the party expected to put up a good fight and even win them. There has not been any decision on the number of seats to be contested in the two states.

Ever since the SP came to power in UP last year, Mulayam Singh has been making efforts to gain a toehold in other states and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has been making regular visits to Madhya Pradesh and other states in a bid to set up functional units there and also to scout for strong candidates.

 The party leaders are confident of winning a few seats in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

“Our candidates secured over one and a half lakh votes in the 2009 elections at Tikamgarh, Satna and Rewan districts in MP, which are on the borders of the state,” an SP leader said.

He said the party is focusing on the seats in these border districts.

The SP is eying only the ‘Yadav’ vote bank in the states outside UP and the party leaders make no bones about it.

“The party has been focusing on Yadav voters. To start with, the party can bank only on them,” said the leader.

A good performance in these states, he said, would boost the morale of party workers and is likely to help the party in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

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